The third season of Stranger Things may have only just dropped on Netflix, but it's never too early to start thinking about the future and what's next for these beloved characters. Netflix has yet to pick the series up for a fourth season, but honestly it's only a matter of time and new plot theories are already starting to come out of the woodwork. However, the Stranger Things 4 Chernobyl theory is certainly one of the most intriguing ones out there since it links to an actual historical event and could lead to a pretty wild storyline.
Reddit user u/Gamer_Nation noticed an interesting pattern when it comes to Stranger Things seasonal timelines, noting that Season 1 took place in Winter 1983, Season 2 occurred in Fall 1984, and Season 3 happened in Summer 1985. If that pattern continues, then odds are a potential Season 4 would kick off in Spring 1986. Guess what else took place around that time — the Chernobyl nuclear accident. The incident occurred on April 26, 1986 and given all of the Russian involvement still at play on the series (the post-credits scene showed them harboring a Demogorgon), it's very possible the writers will try to tie in some events from real-life history.
"Post credit scene was in Russia. Chernobyl happened [sic] in Spring 1986," u/Gamer_Nation explained, adding:
"How doctor Owens said they use something familiar to convince the public to not look any further into the strange happenings. So did a nuclear reactor explode or did el have the greatest battle of her life?"
Granted, it would be tricky for the Netflix show to tackle this real life disaster. However, the theory could still be half right. El and company might not havre anything to do with Chernobyl, but that doesn't mean they won't be heading to Russia. Stranger Things 3 ended with a mysterious "American" being held captive in a Russian jail cell. If this turns out to be Hopper, that would be the perfect incentive for El to show up and kick some butt to save her dad.
Adding further fuel to this theorizing fire is the fact that series creators Ross and Matt Duffer have indicated that the show could be expanding its scope and venturing away from Hawkins, Indiana in any future seasons. "It’s going to feel very different than this season," Ross told Entertainment Weekly during a recent joint interview about a potential fourth season. "But I think that’s the right thing to do and I think it’ll be exciting.”
“I think the biggest thing that’s going to happen is it’s going to open up a little bit, not necessarily in terms of scale, in terms of special effects, but open up in terms of allowing plotlines into areas outside of Hawkins.”
That certainly makes it sound like more scenes in Russia will be in order, especially to help solve the mystery of who exactly is being held prisoner there. “Assuming there’s a season 4, obviously the question of who that American is in that cell and then also what they’re doing with the Demogorgon, is a tease,” Ross hinted. “That’s obviously going to play a huge role in a potential season four.”
So prepare yourselves, folks. Things might be getting real.
Editor's note: this headline has been updated.